Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Mercedes Coffin-Faye Kellerman

The Mercedes Coffin
Faye Kellerman
Morrow, Aug 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 0061227331

Wealthy computer guru Genoa Greeves reads in the paper that someone murdered music producer Primo Ekerling. The description is what shakes Genoa. Someone executed Ekerling with three bullets to the head before leaving him in the trunk of his car. Fifteen years ago when Genoa was a high school geek her favorite teacher, Dr. Ben Little was murdered in the same manner; his case was never solved but the influential Genoa feels strongly she can “bribe” LAPD with opening he cold case with a seven digit “donation”.

That type of money is taken seriously so the brass assigns Lieutenant Peter Decker to investigate the homicide of the history teacher as well as the current homicide to see if there is a link. After a review of the official police file, Decker and his associates, police detectives Marge Dunn and Scott Oliver, arrange to interview the cops on the older case. However, to their shock one detective still on the force commits suicide. They struggle to solve either murder, especially the one fifteen years old as memories have faded.

This is an engaging police procedural as the investigation into the two similar murders is fun to follow especially the nebulous older case. The scenes in which Decker spends with his Orthodox Jewish wife Rina and their children are fun to follow as they bring him needed respites from the difficult cases; though those interludes do not go as deep into her beliefs and their efforts to find common ground as earlier tales did. Still the whodunit is well written and exciting to follow team Decker investigate.

Harriet Klausner